News: Southeast Asia
USSEC – Southeast Asia (SEA), led by Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA; Levy Loreto L. Manalac, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines; Pamudi, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Indonesia; and Hsiang Pin Lan, USSEC Asia Marine Specialist, Aquaculture – SEA, together with international speakers helped the Philippines to develop a sustainable, high-volume, export-focused marine fish aquaculture sector in a workshop conducted on May 8 at the Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel in Pasig City, Philippines.
According to Mr. Manomaitis, USSEC has been working with the marine fish aquaculture sector in Philippines for the past few years and anticipates that the current industry will become larger scale and will produce a large volume of marine fish products. In order for this to succeed, the industry will have to focus on extra-regional sales of product and not primarily on intra-regional trade (national or SEA regional sales). This workshop aimed to inform, educate, and discuss important topics as the Southeast Asian marine fish aquaculture industry starts to develop larger scale production.
During the workshop the invited resource speakers presented the following topics:
- Roy C. Ortega, OIC of IFAD of DA-BFAR, discussed the Philippines Fishery government current policy and future policy plans for marine fish aquaculture.
- Manomaitis provided an introduction to USSEC and discussed the seminar topic and workshop program.
- Matt Brooker, business development manager of The Fishin’ Company in the U.S., presented requirements for a company’s entry into a marine fish export market including how a species market is developed or expanded (if already existing), format, volume, quality, certifications, and challenges and opportunities.
- Elsie Tech, vice president South Luzon, Hi-VAP Inc. and technical consultant of Palawan Aquaculture Corp., discussed and introduced HI-VAP Inc. and how they see the marine fish industry in the next five years.
- Pamudi gave an introduction to the ideas of standards setting and certification bodies for marine fish export market.
- Isidor Yu, farm assurer, GlobalGAP, discussed the importance of standards and certifications for aquaculture products and for export products in particular.
- Lourdes Tanco, managing director of MIDA Trade Ventures International Inc., talked about how Philippine marine fish producers may need to link to the processing and export industry for smooth development of the industry.
This workshop was highlighted by the four different sectors in four breakout sessions where they discussed and addressed the following:
- Import related: What is the best way to link to markets, identify products and encourage buyers to look at SEA marine fish production?
- Certification related: What are the key concerns with regards to standards/certifications that may impact a move to an export marine fish aquaculture industry?
- Government: What actions in the short/medium/long term are needed to support an export marine fish aquaculture industry?
- Industry actions: What changes need to occur within the current industry to move to export volumes? How will feeds be a part of this?
The workshop was attended by 36 marine fish farmers and company, aquaculture feedmills, seafood importers and exporters, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other government agencies, members of Philippine Association of Fish Producers Inc. (PAFPI), Philippine Milkfish Industry Group Inc. (PhilMIG), High Value Aqua Philippines Inc. (Hi-VAP), fish cage manufacturers, and other aquaculture stakeholders in Philippines.
USSEC – Southeast Asia conducted in-house seminars and visits to several aquaculture feedmills in the Philippines to address different issues in their feedmill productions and aquaculture feed formulations from February 21 – 23.
Levy Loreto L. Manalac, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines and Mark Newman, USSEC Feedmill and Nutrition Consultant, led this effort. In order to properly address each aqua feedmill issue, USSEC requested pre-questionnaires from each feedmill to guide USSEC during the in-house seminar.
Mr. Newman presented and discussed extrusion principles and equipment in aquaculture feed production; feeds and feeding management; and milkfish and tilapia nutrition, including the use of U.S. Soy products to reduce the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feeds at the Davao South Feedmill Corporation (Vitarich Feed Corp. third party toll milling partner), Philippine Foremost Milling Corp., and CJ Phils.
At Santeh Feeds Corp. Mr. Newman presented and discussed nutrition and feeds for marine shrimp, processing sinking feeds for shrimp, and current manufacturing trends.
38 feedmill staff, Q&A staff, and managers from four different aquaculture feedmills in Philippines attended the in-house seminar.
About 15,000 of the 23,000 floating net cages (FNCs) in Jatiluhur Reservoir in Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Indonesia began to be removed early last month and will continue to be removed until February 2018. The remaining cages will then be partially removed until the end of next year. An excessive number of cages, up to six times the allowable number, has been blamed for threatening the water supply for Jakarta and Java-Bali’s power supply. Purwakarta Regent Deddy Mulyadi initiated this action.
FNC aquaculture, which mostly produces common carp, started in the reservoir in 1988 and has been a dilemmatic industry in Purwakarta. With an annual production of 70,000 tons per year, involving 3,636 farm households and with a potential estimated tax of $90.2 million (USD) per year, the industry claimed to boost the local economy. However, among those cages, only 3,000 FNCs were officially registered and the registrations expired last year, while the rest were illegal, threatening the water supply and Java-Bali’s power supply.
Although many fish farmers complained about the action, they do not have any right to reject or sue the local government because they established the cages illegally and were instructed to remove them a couple years ago. The farmers now need alternative jobs to make a living. The local government has proposed that the reservoir could be an attractive tourist water spot, involving most of the former cage fish farmers to manage the spot without disrupting the reservoir’s sustainability.
USSEC’s aquaculture program has considered the Jatiluhur and other Indonesian reservoirs for sustainable, environmental-friendly aquaculture, farming the land and sustaining the sea and other water bodies.
USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized the 2017 Asia Grain Transportation Conference (GTC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Mary Tarnowka, U.S. Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, officially opened this year’s GTC at the Sheraton Saigon. The event received its highest turnout to date: over 230 participants from across the region and beyond, with 12 nationalities representing around 100 companies. A large delegation of U.S. Soy family members and stakeholders attended, comprised of soy grower leaders, U.S. exporters, speakers, and guests.
The North and South Dakota Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSB) were the main sponsors of this year’s conference, represented by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council, and Joshua Kayser, South Dakota Soybean Association director.
Mr. Kayser gave a presentation on “U.S. Growers Perspectives: U.S. Soybean Crop Production Outlook,” while Mr. Appert assisted in co-chairing the “U.S. Soy Supply – Ensuring Quality & Sustainability through the Value Chain” session during the Southeast Asia Soy Symposium, another USSEC major regional event that is strategically held back to back with the GTC (see following story).
A reception was held for sixteen U.S. grower leaders from eight states and other U.S. Soy Family representatives, which provided a positive message to the participants and also helped to draw the connection between U.S. growers with their destination markets even closer.
As a result of the collective efforts of the organizers, sponsors, supporters, U.S. Soy Industry representatives, and presenters that provided their expertise and insights, 92 percent of 132 respondents polled indicated that this year’s conference experience was between “high value” and “very high value.” The majority of participants rated the speakers highly with over 93 percent indicating their experience from “good” to “very good.” The presentations were broad ranging, yet in-depth with relevant discussions about key Asian markets, the global outlook for grain and soy, trends in ocean freight, and supply chains for food and agri-products. This year, the organizers introduced two special forum sessions, the “U.S. Ag Producers Forum” and “U.S. Ag Exporters Forum,” which were also very well received and attracted strong participation and responses from the participants. Since introducing the e-platform, Pigeonhole, five years ago to manage the questions and answer sessions for these events, the quality of participation and interaction has been outstanding.
Finally, as with every Grain Transportation Conference, the organizers put together a major success criterion, which is marked by the amount of U.S. agricultural products that this important U.S. ag marketing platform has been able to generate for U.S. Soy stakeholders. Based on written evaluations submitted, over 1.1 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. agricultural products were traded or negotiated at this year’s event. About 600,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal were reportedly transacted or equivalent to about 25 million bushels of soybeans. In addition, over half a million metric ton (MMT) of U.S. corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and wheat were also transacted at the conference.
Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for soy because of rapid economic growth and rising population. I gave a presentation this morning on the global soy supply and demand situation. This afternoon I moderated a panel discussion of U.S. farmers attending the meeting. I am very impressed with those attending and with the positives happening in this country. Vietnam ostensibly remains a communist country, but you would not realize it because of all of the capitalism happening here. Great, growing market for U.S. Soy.
-USSEC consultant John Baize
The organizers sincerely thank the North Dakota Soybean Council, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Kentucky Soybean Association, corporate sponsors, and industry supporters for making the Asia Grain Tranportation Conference a resounding success.
The 12th Southeast Asia Soy Sympoisum (SFS), organized by USSEC Southeast Asia (SEA), was held on March 23 and 24 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 12th Symposium was attended by 115 participants from SEA, the U.S., and Japan, comprising key soy food and beverage industry personnel, soybean traders, and related stakeholders. The one-day symposium was preceded by a half-day invitation-only workshop on Enhancing Soy Products Innovations to Meet Health and Market Trends, for a select group of soy food and beverage producers from the region.
As with previous series of this annual 1.5 day regional soy food event, the back-to-back strategic arrangement with the SEA Grains Transportation Conference (GTC), enabled the cross participation of attendees, and the benefits of the high level presence of U.S. Soy grower leaders as well as the support of several qualified state soybean boards (QSSBs) and food grade soybean suppliers, who took the opportunity to meet and network with regional customers and producers, and to establish trade deals as well as gain updates on the markets development in the region.
Collectively accounting for 25 percent of the world’s total soyfood consumption, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the group of 10 SEA countries) is also one of the largest importer of U.S. soybeans for food uses, with an estimated 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) out of the 3.6 MMT per year imported into the region designated for soy food and beverage utilization. Of this amount, Indonesia alone accounted for close to 2 MMT of the regional import, almost all targeted for the domestic production and consumption of tempe and tofu.
Additionally, SEA is a developing market for U.S. food grade identity preserved (IP) soybeans, with about 40,000 – 50,000 MT being imported annually in recent years, to meet the growing demand of quality soyfood for the modern trade food and beverage industry. The joint GTC and SFS events were important platform for U.S. suppliers to build business networks and negotiate trade deals, as gleaned from the pooled survey on transaction negotiated reported in the GTC story.
Gerald Smith, Senior Agriculture Attache at the U.S. Consulate General, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, delivered the opening speech and welcomed the delegates to the 2017 Soy Symposium with the theme of “Soy Insight – Sustainability, Nutrition and Innovation.” The symposium aimed to provide the status and latest updates on U.S. food use and specialty soybeans suppliers, sustainable farm practices and technological solutions, in addition to information on soy health benefits, products trends and innovations that spur soybean consumption and market growth in this important regional market for U.S. Soy.
The first session on “U.S. Soy Supply – Ensuring Quality and Sustainability Through the Value Chain” was co-chaired by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council and Timothy Loh, USSEC Regional Director – SEA. The three speakers from the U.S. included Will McNair, USSEC Stakeholder Relations Manager, who presented on the outlook of U.S. food soybean supplies and shared how through the dependable production of U.S. food soybean and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), importers of U.S. soybeans and foods are able to create more value for themselves by continuing to differentiate from their competitors. USSEC director Aaron Skyberg of SK Food International and member of the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), shared the quality traits and Identify Preserved (IP) soybean supply system that catered to the needs and target soybean characteristics sought by soy food and beverage producers through a stringent on farm practices, supply and transportation through the container trade that ensure the identity and quality preservation in delivery to the customers through the containers trade, as reinforced in the presentation by Lucas Blaustein of Consolidated Grains and Barge.
Dr. Anne Bridges of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) International and Professor Paul Teng of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, during their presentations at the second session of the symposium, emphasized that a sustainable food supply is critical to feed the growing global population and at the same time respond to demands for healthy and nutritious food. Plant breeders work with multiple technologies to provide new advanced crop options for increased yields, excellent environmental management, adaptations to climate change, as well as improved use of insecticides and herbicides and attention to quality attributes. Knowledge and adoption of these technologies, once approved, would help ensure a sufficient, safe, and sustainable agricultural global supply chain.
The session ended with an update on the status of food use soybean markets in SEA, presented by USSEC Human Utilization Manager, Dr. Dady Maskar from Indonesia, on behalf of Boon Yee Yeong, Senior Technical Consultant, Human Utilization, USSEC SEA. The presentation shared data from the region, which points to continuing growth in demand for soy for food uses. U.S. Soy has been recognized to play an important role and contribution to the nutritional well being of large population sectors who consume soyfood and beverage on daily basis. With soybean production of less than a million metric tons in key SEA countries, sustainable food security in the near future in ASEAN will continue to depend on managing the balance in food supply between self-production and imports from outside the region.
The third and fourth sessions of the symposium comprised the remaining 8 of the total 14 papers in this symposium. The sessions’ topics ranged from current soyfood trends, scientific updates and consumer perceptions on soy, and how these factors confluence to influence purchase. Presenters shared experience on how the soy industry responds to their specific market requirements through innovative approaches and product innovation. Examples from two successful market leaders in Singapore and Vietnam, as well as a sharing of market status and development in two countries outside of SEA, Japan and India namely, were among the very interesting and valuable stories of experience sharing.
The focus program with the diverse topics that covered the pertinent interests of the target audience earned a high appreciation and positive evaluation from the survey conducted among the attendees. Of the 71 returned survey questionnairs, more than 90 percent rated the program to be of high value and relevant to their work, and 85 percent were in positive agreement to the overall statements on both the instrinsic characteristics and extrinsic characteristics of U.S. Soy and soy protein. For those producers or traders not currently purchasing U.S. Soy, the knowledge gap on the U.S. Soy Advantage was shown to be narrowed after the participants attended the Symposium. 24 of the regional respondents in the trade indicated they are currently buyers or users of U.S. Soy with another 10 indicating that they plan to purchase U.S. Soy within the next 6 months.
Besides the full day symposium held on March 24, several of the U.S. Soy grower leaders and food soybean suppliers were invited to visit the newly opened state-of-the art soymilk plant of Vinasoy near Ho Chi Minh City. Vinasoy is the largest soymilk producer in Vietnam. While local soybeans have been their main source of supply, they have started exploring importing food soybeans from the U.S. and Canada.
The half day workshop, “Enhancing Soy Products Innovation to Meet Current Nutrition and Market Trends,” was held on the afternoon of March 23 for a select group of soy food and beverage producers, facilitated by experts in the field of nutrition, product development, and marketing. At the end of the workshop, three innovative product concepts were developed and proposed by the participants which showcased the versatility of soy in meeting target health requirements and consumer interest in innovative soy products.